Grab and Woo: Sparking a Love Affair with Marketing Email

Thursday, July 25th, 2013 by Lucy A.

Each morning, like so many of you, I dynamite the coffee dam and load up the inbox. And as I take my daily walk down Inbox Avenue, I inevitably encounter a congregation of marketing emails, all vying for my attention. But it’s the rare bird whose feathers entice me to flutter up to the “open” button.

How does that rare bird catch my eye? It has a brief and catchy (but not obnoxiously wacky) subject line that clearly presents a benefit. While quirky snags my interest, the benefit is frequently the key.

Once the email is open, I want its design to take me in its tender hands, and not offend my senses with a tacky font or uninspired graphic. And since our eyes work as cameras, in one shot I want to have a general understanding of what time commitment this email will demand of me. Give me beautiful brevity:

  • Bullet points
  • Short paragraphs
  • Tight, well-written sentences
  • A masterful rein on the pony of passionate punctuation (!!)
  • Tasteful use of fonts and bolding
  • Perhaps the occasional, appropriate, yet not overly aggressive graphic

As for the email’s content, I like to be wooed by engaging and direct copy that speaks to both my needs and my humanity, while not underestimating my intelligence. A sparkling 25-word product description also can draw me in. (And I always have time for a wink and a giggle—as a CB editor I am frequently in chortle-hood over the subtle charm our writers can bring to marketing emails.)

Most important: a marketing email must feel made for me. So, whenever possible, personalize marketing emails, be it through email list segmenting or old-fashioned one-to-one communication. It can make all the difference in whether someone stops to consider your marketing email on Inbox Avenue, or simply passes by.

is a member of the Content Bureau editorial team.


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